Gladiator fights in ancient Rome were terrifying and at the same time exciting action. We still shudder at the warriors who entered the arena. Colosseum, and those who fought, overcoming pain, to the joy of the crowd. However, few people know that women competed on an equal basis with men. The first in history was Gerardesca Manutius … In cruelty and skill in fighting, she surpassed many men: on her account there were 200 battles won.
The fate of Gherardeschi Manutius was not easy, it is difficult to imagine that a woman could endure such hardships. The fugitive slave Gherardesque was 28 years old when she joined the thousands-strong uprising of Spartacus. At first, the seductive black-haired beauty was content with the role of a courtesan, so she had the opportunity to follow with the army of Spartacus. However, soon a woman of strong character began to indulge not only in love pleasures, but also to master the martial art. Gradually she learned to handle the sword and learned the intricacies of hand-to-hand combat. Possessing a fearless and courageous character, she quickly took her place in the ranks, and took part in battles on an equal basis with men. A fatal battle for the army of former slaves was the battle of Lucania in 71 BC. Then their forces were defeated, Spartacus was killed, and Gerardesca was captured by Crassus. The legendary commander ordered the execution of 6 thousand fugitive slaves, this fate awaited Gherardescu. The woman was already chained to the cross, but Crassus suddenly pardoned her and ordered the fearless warrior to be taken to his tent. In the morning, he announced a new decision: Gherardesca must take part in gladiator fights.
Truno to suggest what Crassus was guided by when sending Gherardescu to training in combat skills. Perhaps he understood that the competition with the participation of a woman would be much more profitable and delight the crowd, but it is also likely that he tried to save the life of a slave in this way in the hope that she could eventually earn pardon from the Emperor.
Gherardeschi's training took very little time. Accustomed to fighting, she literally rushed to the arena to tear to pieces her opponent. Her first victim was a strong fighter Tracian, a few minutes after the start of the battle, Gerardesca thrust a scimitar into his body. The crowd went crazy every time a half-naked female warrior entered the arena. Each of her performances was enchanting, each victory was cruel and categorical. Success accompanied Gerardesca for 11 months, but one day, luck changed her. In a battle with two dwarfs, an experienced gladiator did not notice how one of her two rivals crept up from behind and hit her with a trident. Crouching in pain, as befits a real warrior, she lay down on the yellow sand with a raised finger of her left hand. It was a gesture that meant a request for pardon, but the heated crowd was eager for the ending, and all that Gherardesca saw in the last minutes of her life was her palms with fingers down.
The body of Gherardesca, a fearless warrior, was torn to pieces and thrown into the basement. There, where the remains of all those who fell victims on that day were buried. The love of the Roman crowd turned out to be changeable, Gerardesca evoked delight only as long as it won victories.
It is not surprising that after the fights of Gerardeschi, women's competitions gained unprecedented popularity in ancient Rome. A program for the preparation of gladiators was even developed, which included unbearably hard training with chains chained to the ankles, often women had to fight blindly or with one hand, or on their knees. The opponents were, as a rule, also women or dwarfs.
Scientists still argue who they were gladiators of ancient Rome: weak-willed slaves or brave adventurers … The latest research can tell a lot about this bloody act …